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The Tarots of Casanova

by Luca Raimondo

The Tarot of Casanova
Price: $19.95
Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.6 x 4.7 inches, or 65 x 120 mm.

Back of card: Blue. The background looks like horizontal folds of cloth. In front of that, two masks, the motif for the deck. May be inverted.

Booklet included: No. There is a folded sheet with 7 panes/14 pages. Measurements (folded): 2.65 x 4.7 inches, or 68 x 120 mm.

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy. Imported by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Comments: A couple of years ago we were in email contact with Ricardo at Lo Scarabeo & we asked if he had any sex-oriented tarot decks. He responded with scans of this deck, then a work in progress. I stuck those scans somewhere on my machine but now cannot find them. I mention this as those cards were fully colored. The final printed version is monochromatic.

Since that time we now stock several sex-oriented decks & we can see some distinctions among them. The Tarot Erotica is a deck about power, as expressed through sex. Sex is always about power, one way or another. In America, in the last half of the 20th century, sex came to be predominately about power, culminating in President Clinton's impeachment in the late 1990's. When sex becomes power, it becomes hard & graphic & explicit & (in my view) excessively male-dominant. Some of you will add violence to the mix, but so far as I can see, there's no hint of violence in Tarot Erotica. When Americans add violence to sex, the sex is never explicit, it is never more than a tease (and a maddeningly disgusting tease, at that). Historically speaking, graphic sex as power visuals are usually short lived.

The Manara Tarot Deck was about the fun of boys & girls - young adults, now - enjoying themselves. Wasn't there a time in your life, dear viewer, when it was all innocence & fun, more imaginary than real, nervous, exciting & disappointing, all at once? A peek at a bit of skin, a passing glance that would thrill you all day? Manara is the memory of innocence lost.

Tarots of Casanova is something else entirely. There are no innocents in Casanova, there are instead men & women playing games amongst themselves. The man says, "How can I have a taste of her?" The woman says, "Is he really as big as he pretends?" The players choreograph themselves across town, plot moves in advance, tell calculated lies. They wear masks, an item that appears again & again in this tarot deck. Everyone pretends to be aloof, but everyone is up for grabs. The five of cups is typical. It shows a nun in a compromising position. To play this game you must be married, either to another human, or as the Bride of Christ. But these bonds, while permanent, are merely superficial. No one divorces a mate to take up with another. That would be silly. That would end the game. Even Death (shown above) plays the game.

To some extent this has always been true of society. There have always been too many married people willing to ignore their vows when it suited them. But it seemed to have reached an apex in pre-revolutionary 18th century France, during the life of Giovanni Giacomo Casanova de Seingalt (1725-1798), the man known to us (through his memoirs) as Casanova. But he is not our only source. Not so many years ago there was a Broadway play & two movies about a fictional Duc de Valmont. The play, and one of the movies, were known as Dangerous Liaisons. It concerned the misadventures of a young man bent on playing the game with a married woman who refused to take part.

I tell you this, but what does it mean when we look at the cards? Simply speaking, it gives us a framework by which to judge the cards, a framework that may help us to choose (or to avoid) this deck, depending on the circumstances at hand. This deck tells us that we must constantly be en garde (the duel shown on the 7 of wands), that things are not as they seem (masks, wigs, fancy clothes) but are secretly as we know them to be (sexual, of course) and that even when we are alone & making love with another, the reality we experience may still be an illusion & is only temporary at best. The man at the heart of this, Casanova, was one of the most fascinating men who ever lived. I would like very much to read his memoirs some day.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Join our tarot mailing list Astrology Home E-Mail:

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site ( & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).